My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Strengthening My Case

You just never know what's going to happen, do you? I get this false sense of security here in my little nest and have this feeling that nothing worse can happen than what's already happened in my life and then fate knocks me upside the head with a reality check or two.

On Monday night this little tiny pin inside my laptop where the power supply goes in either broke off or got pushed in somehow and... all of a sudden my not-even-one-year-old laptop is basically worthless. Buying a new laptop is not in my budget but truly, without over-dramatizing, my laptop is my contact with a world that is too painful for me to explore very often. I ordered a new laptop right away with tons of self-doubt and guilt about the money but ... honestly, I don't know that I would make it without it. It's that important. Y'all are that important. I hope you don't take that lightly.

Then today I got a call from my disability attorney. It's a big corporation that specializes in disability cases and I have just felt so secure in the knowledge that they were handling my case. Well, today they dropped me. Since my appeal has been filed my case has been escalated to the people who actually go to court for you and their review of my file showed there is not enough documented medical evidence to back up my claim. In other words, nothing in my chart says that I can't work. It shows that I probably have a lot of discomfort but nobody has ever spelled out an inability to work.

You may remember that last month my pain doctor referred me to a physical therapist for a "functional capacity evaluation". This gives us an outside documented evaluation of what I can and cannot do. I called the place... they were very expensive... so I asked my disability attorney if this was something that I should do. They said then that they can't really advise one way or another. Today they said that they would consider taking my case again if I had this done and it validated my claim.

I'll tell you what it felt like to get that call: it felt like being abandoned. I wish I could say I wasn't accustomed to that feeling but the truth is that it's happened in my life so often that I should have a doctorate in abandonment. It hurts. It makes me feel like my case is hopeless. It makes me feel trapped in limbo where I'm too broken to function but too functional to be considered broken. It makes me feel like I've wasted a lot of money going to doctors who say one thing to me in their office but fail to make any reasonable documentation of their recommendation.

But the truth is, these people know what they're doing. They've been to court enough times to know what gets approved and what doesn't. If their professional opinion is that my medical records are lacking the documentation I need for approval then now is the time to get that documentation. My case is not likely to come before a judge for quite some time and before it does I'm going to get the proof I need and either bring the original attorney back on or find another one.

I was mentally prepared for delays and denials. I wasn't prepared for dismissal. It's just a new obstacle in the obstacle course my life has become. All lives, though, I suppose, have obstacles. I have had so many obstacles removed. Things that were my "biggest thing" a year ago or two years ago are non-existent today. It's not just a cliche - life does go on. I've been on auto-pilot with this case and now I've got to be more pro-active and I will. Social Security cannot deny a case at this stage without a hearing so one way or another, I'm in line for that and it's up to me to make sure I'm ready.

And who knows? Maybe we'll find some new treatment options in this process. I've been seeing the same people every month or every other month for almost three years and I'm definitely not getting better. I have better drugs but I'm not better. I'm much, much worse.

Does it make me regret buying the new laptop? No. I can't keep beating myself up about that. I wish my life included more three dimensional encounters and fewer online encounters but I have what I have. One day out "in the real world" on Sunday has left me completely exhausted for the past three days. I slept 12 hours last night and am still exhausted today and in pain in so many ways. It's taken me all week to feel well enough to go to the store to buy cat food. I can only do what I can do and I know from my past that it's vital for my mental health for me to feel connected. It's an investment in my sanity.

I had figured that I had enough money to make it until I got my tax return. I don't have that now. Money will run out at some point and I don't have any realistic method of refilling the coffers. But I've been broke before and it's always worked out. We won't starve.

No fun photos today. Just the news of my so-far not very fun week. Tomorrow has to be better, right?

Love and hugs.


monique said...

Well, this latest update on your case sucks. There's so much I'd like to say but I just can't put it here. I hope you continue to pursue this.
You should consider your new laptop a necessity and not a luxury. Don't beat yourself up about that. I hope that Santa brings you a smartphone.
I'm behind in my commenting, but the book you put together for your Grandma is priceless. I have a huge family and I wish we had done something like that.
Hang in there :)

Sweetnessk71 said...

Sorry that you're going through such a hard time and I hope things get better for you. I can only imagine how rough this process is and am praying for you. The laptop is a need for you so do not feel guilty. I know it doesn't seem like it but things will get better. Take care